Practice Pointers: Verify Immigration Case Status and Appeal Information

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Verify Immigration Case Status and Appeal Information

Attorneys may use a client’s immigration number (“A-XXX-XXX-XXX”) to call the Executive Office of Immigration Review at 1-800-898-7180, to obtain information about the following: an upcoming court hearing date, updated case processing information, recent decision information, case appeal information, or filing information.  This includes information about order of removals and the court asserting jurisdiction over the matter.

To obtain information about filing an appeal, motion, brief, change of address or other items with the Board of Immigration Appeals, call 703-605-1007.  This recorded information service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Submissions toUSCIS

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services submissions must be done by certified mail.  It is standard good practice to include the following in all USCIS submitted forms: proof of client’s identity such as copies of the client’s driver’s license and social security card.  Payment and a cover letter should also accompany submissions; this is especially the case when submitting supplement materials.

Written Statements and Motions

USCIS and Immigration Judges cite directly to the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 as “INA” but Federal Courts cite to “USC.”

To review status of pending application or other items in client’s records

Online status verification

Client or client’s attorney may review the status of a pending application by entering the corresponding application’s receipt number. [1] There is no fee for this service.

Info Pass

Client or the client’s attorney may review the status of the application by making an appointment with a USCIS officer. First step is to file an electronic “Info Pass” request.[2] Client or client’s attorney may ask questions to the USCIS officer in person, however will not receive a copy of the documents.  There is no fee for this service.

FOIA

Client or client’s attorney may ask for copies of records by means of a Freedom of Information Act request. There is no fee to enter the request, however, the agency may assess a fee for copying/reproduction costs depending on the request.

Verify that you seek the forms provided by the corresponding agency.  When USCIS receives a FOIA request of A-file material containing documents from other agencies, USCIS will refer the FOIA request to the originating agency for direct response to the requester by the originating agency.  However, USCIS and CBP have a memorandum of understanding (MOU), allowing USCIS to process CBP documents without a separate referral required to CBP.  Therefore, USCIS may process CBP records, but a separate request is needed for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Department of State (DOS) originating documents.

 

Record/Request Type[3]

Where to Submit FOIA Requests

A-file

USCIS

Applications from U.S. citizens for U.S. passports

DOS

Apprehension by Border Patrol between Official Ports of Entry

Note: CBP does not have complete records of apprehensions made by Border Patrol before 2000.  Records of apprehensions made by Border Patrol before 2000 may be available in the A-File maintained by USCIS.

CBP

Bond Obligor Requests

ICE

CBP Background Investigation

CBP

Certification of non-existence of a record

USCIS, Records Operation Branch

Deportation Records; Detention and Removal Records

USCIS

Detention by Border Patrol or at Ports of Entry

CBP

EB-5 Regional Centers

USCIS

Expedited Removal by Border Patrol or at Ports of Entry

CBP

Family History Research

USCIS, Genealogy

I-94 Records

CBP

Immigration Data/Statistics

USCIS

Importer Trade Activity (ITRAC) Requests

CBP, ITRAC

Information Regarding Entry and Exit

Note: CBP does not have records on the entry and exit of persons arriving or departing the U.S. before 1982.

CBP

Medical Records (While in Detention)

ICE

Passenger Name Record (PNR) (Travel Industry Reservation Data)

CBP

Petitions (I-130, I-485, I-589, N-400, etc.)

USCIS

Records Regarding Client Inspection or Examination upon Client’s Arrival at a U.S. Port of Entry

CBP

SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)
(F-1, F-3, J-1, M-1, I-20 visas)

ICE

USCIS Background Investigations

USCIS

USCIS Contracts

USCIS

USCIS Grants

USCIS

Visa requests from non-citizens to enter the U.S.

DOS

Voluntary Return

CBP

 

In addition, USCIS has a 3-track FOIA request processing system.[4] For good practice, attorneys should submit form G-639, Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Request.[5]

·       Track 1 is for less complex cases in which a requester needs only one or only a few specific documents from the file.

·       Track 2 is for more complex cases.  Examples of a complex case include requesting a complete copy of a file, requests from the news media, or special interest groups.  If we receive a request for specific documents which implies most of the file (for instance, “the asylum application and all supporting documents,”) we will assign the request to the complex track.

·       Track 3 is an accelerated track for cases involving individuals who are to appear before an immigration judge.  In order to receive Track 3 priority processing, you must include one of the following documents with the FOIA request:

o   Form I-862, Notice to Appear, documenting a future scheduled date of the subject’s hearing before the immigration judge; or

o   Form I-122, Order to Show Cause, documenting a future scheduled date of the subject’s hearing   before the immigration judge; or

o   Form I-863, Notice of Referral to Immigration Judge; or

o   A written notice of continuation of a future scheduled hearing before the immigration judge.

USCIS FOIA/PA Headquarters Office

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
National Records Center, FOIA/PA Office
P. O. Box 648010
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-8010
Live Assistance: 1-800-375-5283
Fax (802) 288-1793 or(816) 350-5785
uscis.foia@uscis.dhs.gov

Requesting Certifications

Certification of Nonexistence of a Record involves an agency decision.  The USCIS Office of Records Management prepares this documentation.  Requests for this service should be addressed to:

USCIS Records Operations Branch
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
ATTN: Records Operation Branch
1200 First Street NE MS2202
Washington, D.C. 20529-2202

Requesting I-94

If the client has lost her I-94 you must do one of the following to retrieve it:

·       File a Form I-102 with proof of her identity to obtain a copy of her I-94

·       File a FOIA with USCBP to obtain a copy of all of the client’s documents

Retrieving past I-130 petitions

Best retrieval method is to make the FOIA request of the beneficiary file, providing as much of the information as possible.  The requester must have consent or proof of death and provide the receipt number if known.[6]



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